This is a story of three Christmases . . . and the gift of a family restored.
Prior to Christmas of 2020, Brooke went through a season of turmoil. Earlier that year, she faced a severe domestic violence incident, and because two of her three children were in the car when the incident happened, all three were eventually removed from her care. “Being a mom was everything to me. It just broke my heart. I used alcohol to cope.”
By August, Brooke was homeless, going from hotel to hotel. “The worst part was not having anywhere to turn. Because of my choices, I’d cut myself off.”
Finally, desperate to do whatever it took to regain custody of her children, in September she turned to Hope Ministries to help turn her life around.
Brooke’s early days at our Hope Center for Women and Children included working on her sobriety and learning to live in community. One of her hardest moments was not being able to talk to her son on his birthday due to DHS restrictions. “But [the staff at Hope Center] helped me through it. It was probably one of the biggest moments where I gave up control and asked God for peace.”
Brooke was dedicated to doing whatever it took to regain custody of her children. Our staff helped her prepare for upcoming court hearings, documenting her efforts in sobriety, therapy, parenting, life skills classes and more. They even helped her pick out the right attire for court and attended with her.
By Thanksgiving of 2020, Brooke was awarded custody of her sons. And by early December, she’d also regained custody of her daughter. Which meant that at Christmas, they were all together at Hope Center! But that’s not the end of her restoration story . . .
Brooke continued her life recovery throughout 2021. Her kids settled into their bedrooms at Hope Center, and her reunited family entered a refreshing season of healing and growth. They found a great church where they felt welcomed and even discovered a new hobby. “We do taekwondo. We really love it! It teaches you self-control, and you learn something new all the time. It’s something we try to do together because it’s good for all of us.”
On December 10, 2021—Brooke’s birthday—her last open court case was officially closed. “I was ecstatic! Everything I’d worked so hard for was signed, sealed and delivered on my birthday. It was probably the best gift I could ever have.” Christmas that year was extra special for Brooke’s family.
And Christmas this year? It’s looking different for a wonderful reason: Brooke graduated from our life recovery program this spring and she and her kids now live independently. Brooke has a great job on the ICU floor at a local hospital and is beginning nursing school. Pursuing her career, she says, is a step she’s been able to take thanks to her blossoming faith. “I’m trusting God now. I always wanted to be in control, but I’m learning I don’t have to be. I just need to trust Him.”
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Brooke’s hope has been restored and your prayers and financial gifts to Hope Ministries helped make it possible. Your ongoing support will continue to bless her and so many others!
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